Café du Parc — Lunch on 23 January 2018

Cafe Du Parc

Café du Parc

2018 Winter Restaurant Week 2, Day 2

It seems that every time I have lunch at Café du Parc, the elegant restaurant inside the Willard InterContinental Hotel, I find a new entrance to the dining room. The place has more doors than the setting for Noises Off. Found another one this time, through this pretty little patio. That area in the background, past the flags and the cars, is the Ellipse, the “backyard” of the White House.

Bread

Bread

This bread basket, with five different kinds of bread, deserves its own special mention.

Duck Breast

Here’s how this starter was described in the online version of the menu:

What on earth, I wondered, is “Smoked Duck Bread”? It puzzled me all weekend.

When I finally saw the table menu, everything became clear. The picture shows the actual appetizer:  Smoked Duck Breast and Stone Ground Mustard Potato Salad.

I should have known that it was a typo.

Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse

The Bouillabaisse, with shrimp, scallops, and mussels in saffron tomato broth left me a little depressed. Not because of the taste, which was fine, but because it reminded me of another, similar dish.

Cioppino from Tadich Grill

Cioppino from Tadich Grill

Tadich Grill, the DC offshoot of the famous San Francisco restaurant, closed this month after a troubled three-year run in the city.  I’ll miss it tremendously, because now that it’s gone, I’ll no longer be able to indulge in what’s probably its signature dish: Cioppino.

Just look at that picture! Tadich Grill’s Cioppino was packed with scallops, shrimp, crab, prawns, clams, and mussels, in a sauce made with tomatoes and wine. Cioppino originated among Italian immigrant fishermen in San Francisco during the late 19th century, and nobody makes a better version than the one you get at Tadich. Every couple of months, I’d get an overwhelming need for its spicy goodness and trek to Tadich to get it. Now my Cioppino fix is gone, and, while it might be an exaggeration to say that my life has become empty and meaningless, it’s certainly diminished.

Guess I’ll just have to move to San Francisco.

Mousses

Mousses

A duo of dark and white chocolate mousse, with Chantilly cream, spiced caramel sauce, and a ribbon tuile. District Commons take note: This is how you make a dessert.

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